Policy Analysis

Conducted by Noelani Kalipi and Katie Schwind

Executive Summary: The THFS Policy Database Tool is a database created in the web-based application, Airtable. This is a comprehensive tool which provides users immediate access to statutes, ordinances, administrative regulations, planning documents, and reports that impact Hawai’i’s food systems. The database is intended to serve as a tool to help users better understand the intersection of policy, advocacy, and civic engagement, yielding a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to shaping the future of food systems in Hawai’i.

Additionally, this tool encourages civic engagement from actors across the food system by providing an accessible and easily searchable database of all local and state policies that impact the system, as well as the numerous existing policy analyses and guidebooks.

Please feel free to interact with The THFS Policy Database Tool! Check out policy-related reports!

The tool is designed by categorizing 270 policies in the following broad categories:

1. Agriculture & Economic Development
2. Conservation, Ecosystems, Climate Change, & Biodiversity
3. Nutrition, Diets, Food Security, Hunger, and Public Health
4. Energy, Inputs & Resource Use
5. Infrastructure
6. Workers/Labor
7. Agricultural Sectors


How the Database Tool Works:

The tool is primarily focused on Hawai’i policies, including data from the counties and state. It includes the UN Sustainable Development Goals identified by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as relevant to food and nutrition. The tool currently also includes access to 53 reports, with a significant number focused on Hawai’i food systems recommendations and existing policy analyses.

The tool was created as a central repository for the numerous reports with recommendations and the policies they discuss. The tool enables movement from recommendations and assessments of existing policies to view all policies related to a particular topic and better understand the interconnections and gaps between policies and how to comprehensively improve policies to work together at all levels within Hawaii and advance thriving food systems.

Grid view highlighting the Sort, Group, and View functions.

Reports/Documents Sheet
All policies related to a report are listed in the Policies column, which creates a link between the Reports/Documents and Policy sheet. Through this link, the user can immediately review the complete policy details. By clicking on the policy name in the Policies column, a pop-up appears with all the details of that policy entry from the Policy sheet.

In this example, the report “Calibrated model of local food systems,” links directly to the Refundable
Food General Excise Tax Credit policy (HRS 235-55.85).

Reports/Document Sheet – Clicking the policy name (highlighted by the green arrow) opens the entry details from the linked Policy sheet in a pop-up box.

Policy Sheet
Reciprocally, on the Policy sheet, a list of all documents relating to the policy is visible. The
details of each report/document are easily accessible by clicking on the report name from the Report reference column.

Policy Sheet – Clicking the report name (highlighted by the green arrow) opens the full entry details from the linked Report/Documents sheet in a pop-up box.

Stakeholder Input Sheet
This sheet tracks feedback provided on specific policies. Users on the policy sheet can easily see the general perception of a policy’s impact – how many entries reported a policy as inhibitive, supportive, neutral – as well as the types of stakeholders who provided this information.

Stakeholder Input Sheet – Pop-up showing the Policy entry details.
Policy Sheet – Pop-up showing the details from the Stakeholder input sheet.

Categorization: Categorization on this database tool allows users to develop a better sense of the system of policies at the state and local levels to identify connections, barriers, and encourage new opportunities to emerge. Policies sorted and searched by topic allow users to narrow their assessment scope and target the most applicable areas to their needs and areas of interest.

Quick Views of the Hawaiʻi Policy Analysis Tool

Reports & Documents

SDG Indicators